One of the movies that grabbed me ever since I first saw it was Lucky Number Slevin. I remember watching it in the cinema in 2006 and thinking that everything about it was my kind of movie. It has all the elements I love: Quick-fire witty dialogue, amazing cast, action and humour seamlessly intertwined. So when I watched Now You See Me I couldn’t help but see a few similarities. I’ve picked out three. Warning: this thing is going to have spoilers for days. So if you haven’t seen either one, stop reading now.
Seemingly clueless good guy turns out to be vengeful bad guy behind everything
Probably the most obvious similarity so I started with it. Josh Hartnett (Slevin) is not actually unlucky, but rather a calculated and vengeful mastermind – along with Bruce Willis. Mark Ruffalo (Det. Dylan Rhodes ) is not just an angry policeman with a condescending view on magicians, but actually he’s the one who made the entire plot happen.
I thought about why the one twist was so mind blowing but the other one was pretty average. I think it was the fact that as an audience we are only affected by the twist if the character is someone we have grown to like, admire, or sympathise with throughout the course of the movie. If we don’t; the twist falls flat. We happened to like Slevin and at times felt really bad for him. We feel nothing for Detective Rhodes. Or at least, I didn’t. I don’t know I might be generalising here.
Still, I think it’s safe to say that no one was really on his side throughout the entire movie. He was just there. Shame. I usually like Mark Ruffalo. Anyway…
Morgan Freeman discovers the plot twist way too late
One thing both movies share is iconic actor with that silky voice Morgan Freeman. In both movies he thinks he has the upper hand. In both movies he gets in trouble at the end. In both movies he confronts the mastermind (Slevin/Det. Rhodes) without actually knowing they’re the mastermind behind the whole thing.
And then, in that silky but confused voice, he says: “You…?”
And then: “Who are you?”
Both scenes in both movies are pretty much the same. We don’t really catch it at first because: 1) The one is leading to his death and the other leading to prison, and 2) Lucky Number Slevin is great and Now You See Me is meh.
The Kansas City Shuffle is a literally a synonym for misdirection
Everybody looks right and you go left.
You look here while the trick is happening there.
So in the end, both movies are kind of similar. Personally I enjoyed Lucky Number Slevin much more and it nailed every aspect of the film that made it enjoyable. But I got the feeling that Now You See Me was trying to be way too clever and do too many things. What do you think? Did you notice any other similarities between the two?
About the author: Dean tried to be a magician when he was younger but too many rabbits died. He opted for being a writer and filmmaker instead.